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David Parkin OAM

David Parkin OAM


Academics - After Dinner - Authors - Business - CEO/Chairman - Change Management - Coaching - Corporate Culture - Entrepreneurs - Excellence - Fitness - Goal Setting - Inspiration - Keynote Speakers - Leadership - Management - Mentoring - Motivation - Personal Development - Sport - Sports Speakers in Australia - Strategy - Talent Retention - Teamwork - Training

Champion AFL Coach and Business Leader

Regarded as one of Australia’s most powerful, intelligent and compelling business/motivational speakers, David Parkin’s story chronicles a rich tapestry of experiences in the business arena, in addition to his well known achievements in the fields of sport and academia. Described as one of the super-coaches of the 70's, and 80's, David’s innovative coaching techniques saw him preside over a swathe of AFL victories. An outstanding all-round achiever, David is now an accomplished lecturer and author who channels his considerable talents into sharing the secrets of success of top companies and coaches.

About David

David Parkin is one of the best business/motivational speakers in Australia – “Powerful, intelligent and compelling". As a well-known achiever in both the Sporting and Academic fields, Parkin relates his experiences to the world of business through working with numerous and varied organisations and corporations. David is currently a Media Commentator on Fox Footy and ABC Radio.

Parkin's accomplishments as a football player and coach are outstanding: he captained Hawthorn Football Club to their second premiership in 1971, and then coached them to a flag in 1978. He later coached Carlton Football Club to successive Premierships in 1981 - 82, and is regarded as one of the super-coaches of the 70's, and 80's.

Through the 1990’s Parkin continued coaching one of Australia's top AFL teams, Carlton. Applying innovative coaching techniques under Parkin, Carlton set a new record for an unbroken series of AFL winning games, culminating in Carlton as 1995 Premiers.

In 2000, despite lucrative offers to continuing coaching and join the corporate world full-time, David returned to his first passion the Hawthorn Football Club as Director of Football, where he remained until 2002. David was inducted to the AFL Football Hall of Fame in May of that year.

Parkin is one of just six coaches to have coached over 500 AFL/VFL games (the others are Tom Hafey, Jock McHale, Allan Jeans, Kevin Sheedy and Ron Barassi).

Parkin's academic achievements include developing and lecturing in the Sports and Exercise Science at Deakin University, Melbourne Campus. David Holds a Bachelor of Education from the University of Western Australia as well as writing and publishing more than a dozen books and numerous articles. 


A prolific writer, David has published numerous articles and books including: Preparing the Australian Footballer (1979); Children’s Sport – Equalising the Opportunity to Play (Sport Coach 1980); Premier Ship Football (1984, revised 1987); and co-authored with Paul Bourke, Perform or Else (1999); Pumped up People (2001), “What Makes Teams Work (2004) and “Captain – Coach Leadership" (2009).

In “What Makes Teams Work" David and co-author Paul Bourke interviewed dozens of CEO’s and taken a detail look at successful Australian companies like Flight Centres, Ford Australia (Ford’s only profitable worldwide subsidiary) and Dun & Brad Street, as well as top Australian coaches such as Leigh Matthews, Brian Goorjian and Ric Charlesworth. The book has been described as “The In-Search of Excellence" for Australia - it explores the reasons for and lesson from the highly successful businesses and sporting teams. (Paul Bourke is former CEO of Campbell’s Soup, Arnotts Biscuits and Cadbury Confectionary.)

David’s newest book, again with co-author Paul Bourke, is “Captain – Coach Leadership". In this book David and Paul showcase the key elements of successful organisations and how they make their employees “heroes", or are working hard to achieve “employer of choice" status. 

* Leadership
* Recruitment
* People Development
* Coaching Culture
* Values and Team Rules

With his success in sport and advising businesses, David as a speaker is held in the highest esteem by organisations such as: MLC, Spalding Australia, Brake & Clutch, RACV, Campbells Soups, Telstra Australia, Australia Post, Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, Combined Rural Traders, Civil Contractors Association, KPMG, CIC Insurance, MBAV, AMP, TAFE, QANTAS, Australian Earthmovers & Road Contractors, Toyota, Eka Nobel, Sheraton Hotels and many, many more.

Presentation Topics Include

  • Managing a Winning Team
  • Learning to Win
  • The Coach/Leader/Manager
  • The Individual - Value and work
  • Feedback, Culture & Success
  • Teamwork
  • Planning, Preparation and Performance
  • Motivation, Achievement, Success and Enjoyment
  • Ownership and Empowerment
  • Organisational and Individual Change
  • Health/Lifestyle Management


“David Parkin was a great inspirational speaker to choose for our Men’s Health Event. He was very passionate and motivational. He lifted the spirits of the men in the room."
Knox Division of General Practice

“Excellent, His passion and enthusiasm was infectious. David really understands the dynamics of what makes a great team" 
Hynes Tiles 

“Excellent. David was a very demonstrative and genuine speaker who gave some very good ideas on both motivational and inspiring ways to assist our group. We would be happy to have David speak to our team at a later date." 
Maroondah City Council

“David was very motivational and passionate. I was also very impressed with his honesty and social skills. A very successful event." 
Aventis Pharma 

“Excellent. The feedback from both staff and client was excellent, with comments ranging from ‘inspirational’ to ‘a terrific insight into people beyond production’. 
Regent Personnel 

“Excellent. David’s passion really won the audience over. His ability to vary his subjects kept the audience captivated. A truly motivational speech." 
National Australia Financial Management

“Excellent. Highly energetic presentation the content of which perfectly reinforced the ethos of our business. I would love to use David in future development sessions." 
Provincial Home Loans

“David had instant rapport with our audience. His straight, no nonsense delivery was appreciated and effective." 
Farm Management 500 

“Excellent. David went well beyond the call of duty to talk to our guests." 
ProAcct Services 

“Excellent. A passionate and motivating presentation from David who related to his audience." 
Broad Marketing 

“Excellent. Very motivational, very accommodating and relevant to the audience. We would have him back for a similar event." 
Corangamite City Council 

“Excellent. David’s address was excellent. He is passionate about his subject. Got everybody thinking." 
IGA Distribution

“David’s presentation met our expectations and his passion was refreshing." 
City of Monash

“Excellent. Very enthusiastic and sincere. Projected a team approach. Having the correct attitude. Very much a can do person." 
Rotary District of Dromana

“Excellent. David connected extremely well with the audience of students, their parents and their teachers. He was entertaining and interesting. I am sure that he inspired some of our students who do not read as much as they might. A great night!." 
Mill Park Secondary College

“Excellent. David Parkin has an obvious rapport with his audience and our staff came away motivated and encouraged. His knowledge of strategic planning in both the sporting and corporate world enabled a presentation that hit the spot on the morning. He was a delight to deal with personally and spent quite some time afterwards signing our mini promo footballs for our staff - they were thrilled." 
Moores Legal 

“Excellent. David gave a most informative, enthusiastic and relevant talk to our group of school administrative staff (i.e. bursars, registrars, business managers etc) and was both professional and approachable. As a result of our own evaluation process all participants rated his speech highly and there was only positive feedback for David's session." 
Department of Education - Moe 

“Excellent. As always, David Parkin was outstanding!" 
Oakley South Pacific Pty. Ltd.

“David's talk was entertaining and interesting and the highlight of our conference. We kept his presentation a surprise and had a fantastic response from all participants." 

“David was excellent! To achieve the attendance we received for a 7am breakfast we knew the keynote speaker we selected had to well know and worth listening to - David exceeded my expectations." 
Mitchell Shire Council

“Excellent. David Parkin is a truly gifted speaker. He is very passionate about the things he talks about and he believes and lives it. David's use of anecdotes was awe-inspiring and had the kids riveted. David was very appreciative of the preliminary work done to familiarise him with the school and the school community. David stayed back to chat with the school leadership team for quite some time reflecting his commitment to and interest in what he does. It would appear that this school's values and mission is very much aligned with David's and to hear him speak was magic." 
Montmorency Secondary College

“Excellent discussion of motivation and leadership using highly relevant, yet very interesting examples from David's experiences in both football and wider sporting fields." 

“A very passionate perspective look at life in the form of sport & business, engulfed the audience." 
DG Global

“Excellent. What a motivator! David was absolutely fantastic, he amazed the crowd with his presence and his enthusiasm. He went above and beyond the call, giving it his all and then some. Absolute pleasure having him as a guest speaker for Telstra." 

“David was such a skilled motivator, he carried the students with him on the 'journey'. The feedback from the students and everyone involved, was that they were again enthused about why they wanted to achieve." 
Association of School Councils in Victoria

“We had a full house of 107 people, which is testament to David's profile and drawing power.
David was highly entertaining, and at the same time left us with relevant messages about the value of good teamwork. “ 
Blake Dawson Waldron

“David's talk was extremely well received by all participants. David was able to deliver three or four key messages, which were totally relevant to our conference. He also joined us for dinner and is a very personable person and made himself accessible to all. His passion for his subject is overwhelming and his delivery is spot on! 10/10." 

“Morant-McGuire, Dixie] I thought David Parkin was a fantastic speaker - I have had nothing but very good feedback from people who attended the lunch - I personally found him very inspirational and highly enjoyable." 

“David Parkin is a true professional, my client had nothing but praise for the work and effort that David went to." 
Australian Entertainment Services

“The delegates enjoyed his presentation. There was genuine interest shown throughout his entire presentation, and David definitely kept the audience motivated and enthused." 
ETM Travel

“David was very motivational and highly entertaining - a weaker link between his speech and the notion of an alliance overall, but exceptionally entertaining and very well received." 
Accenture Hr Services

“David responded very well to the challenge of engaging 350 grade 5 students. Every student hung on his every word. Comments received after the talk were very positive." 
St Josephs Primary School

“David was very entertaining, informative, well presented, and explosive, the kids and parents got a lot out of the message that David delivered." 
Montrose Football Club 

“David’s passion regarding sport was obvious. His stories and anecdotes were insightful and sometimes very funny. He left everyone feeling invigorated and “ready to take on the world". 
Glen Eira City Council

“David spoke with the voice of authority and experience and held our audience captivated with his every word. His depth of life experience has obviously served him well, and we were very grateful that he travelled to Shepparton to share a little bit of it with us!! A man of genuine passion!!" 
Beejay Machinery 

Excellent Professional, well researched presentation - delivering strong inspirational and motivational messages on team leaderships. 
John Danks & Son

“Parko was an absolute sensation, without doubt the most passionate speaker I have ever heard, if you’re not fired up after something like that you’d better check to see if you still have a pulse." 
Coles Express

Excellent presentation. David was able to engage the group with interesting stories whilst being able to deliver an important message in relation to the importance of leadership.David's presentation to the group was extremely well recieved by all staff from Road Workers to Senior Management. It was also greatly appreciated that David took the effort to dine with group prior to his presentation and afterwards remained around to speak to the group informally, sign some autographs and answer some challenging questions. 
Vic Roades

David is a person that is funny, he is serious and thought prevoking . He has the ability to draw on his experience as a teacher, a parent and an AFL Coach. To tease out answers to many questions.
He raised the question to many , What are we doing with our working life? Can I make a difference?
Should I re invent myself ? That if things are to happen we need to "DO THE WORK" 
Furnishing Teachers Advisory Group 

“David was engaging, honest and genuine in his approach towards us. He took the time to attend our event in its entirety and then stayed for lunch and chatted with the staff. He was cheerful, friendly and very approachable. His talk was passionate, inspiring and also included humorous and relevant anecdotes" 
Fuji Xerox Australia

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